[This story is an improved version from mini cassette recordings of Mekkar’s actual voice in 1990 while hiking and walking as a University student; then, it was converted to a Windows Media Audio File and transcribed in 2011. Mekkar’s spoken English skills are nowhere near as polished as Saavo’s are. Continued from PART 1 (B) in October, 2014.]
Mekkar’s mood showed that he loved the trek experience, as he was out in the open and felt free. He thought that a lot of people from the southern cities within the country would enjoy this too, only if they knew about it. Due to his youthfulness, Mekkar didn’t recognize his own biased outlook. Yet, he still applied his assumptions to people he had come across when he went to work with his mama, down south in the big city. Mekkar deemed that all large city dwellers should experience this natural setting and its wonders at least one time in their life. A beneficial break from the humdrum routine of the average individual’s existence. The exhilarating feel of freedom and fresh air in his lungs overwhelmed him more than usual. Nothing significant was occurring when he journeyed outside the teepee. Still, a quiet peace and enjoyment hit him all at once. Even though it had been a long trek so far there was a sense of newness. The young boy, at that moment, was eager to continue back on the journey once again. Aslak inquired of the youngster for a cause for his refreshed vigor, but Mekkar was unable to give him an answer. Nevertheless, Aslak knew and was testing Mekkar for the little trekker’s interpretation to determine if it was accurate. The Seer always knew because Aslak could observe from many angles and multiple dimensions.
After packing up the party with their beasts they continued on to the east where there were more flat lands awaiting them. This area seemed more desolate than where the path had taken them beforehand. The folk here seemed to Mekkar to be more cold and distant toward their group also. An aura of distrust appeared to increase when encountering the inhabitants as the herd went further eastward. Mekkar perceived this as the locals might have been even bothered by his group’s presence. The boy thought to himself the inhabitants in this place looked even frightened and he didn’t know why. Thus, Mekkar went to Aslak and asked him questions regarding this. All of the elders know that kids, similar to the youngster, are curious and seek answers to their questions. Mekkar did not make the connection to the local people’s reactions because he blocked out of his mind what he saw earlier on this trip regarding the wreckage. After speaking with Aslak and overhearing a conversation of Ansetti, Ankki, and Juhani is when he began to get some insight that addressed the matter. The residents feared a return of the overhead flights. One comment brought up that maybe the community thought their tribe was a target of a raid of some kind?
It was all too much information for such a young lad to connect the dots and grasp the overall situation. Mekkar listened as he heard comments regarding the locals and their recent encounters with these foreign flying machines and other military equipment. The original plan for this area was an attempt to increase development, yet those goals were never reached. A mention was made about another effort to take control of the area for a hidden purpose, but many in the circle disagreed with that theory. There had to be a reason for the unwanted attention from more powerful surrounding enemies desiring to dominate the area. Mekkar had no clue since he had never travelled to this area before. He became very bothered by the disturbing news. At least he gained a small portion of understanding related to the local’s standoffish reactions concerning his group. The deep implications were beyond the boy due to youth and immaturity. It had been ingrained in Mekkar to strive to overcome any deficiencies he had by observing, clearly listen and hear, read if possible, and endeavor through application of all exposed information. Now, The Arctic Warrior is well aware this is a key to development and advancement of the mind.
When the situation was ascertained the group decided to continue on the trek despite that fact there was no town for quite a distance away from their location. After all the dead of winter had already passed, yet spring season had not arrived either. So, the herd with its shepherds was still affected by the frequent, wild fluctuations in the climate. There is always the myth of weather streams keeping certain areas warm. In some cases, it could be true regarding much warmer than expected temperatures at these high latitudes. The perceptions usually applied to the coastal regions, if the jet stream was static in its flow and in continual motion. Further inland, regular weather patterns are the normal tendency and decisions relied upon those characteristics. Actions and labor are determined by an expectation of a much colder environment further away from major bodies of water. Anyone living around mountain ranges is aware that they can provide an effective wind block between the coast and inland areas. Namely, if you are close to them and not in the distance on the valley floor below.
The temperature stayed relatively the same ranging between 25° F (-3.88° C) and 32° F (0° C) with little variation as they travelled eastward for the next few days. At the same time, Mekkar finally started to put that earlier wolf attack out of his awareness, but it was pushed back into his subconscious mind. The party had seen a couple of other wolf groups in the binoculars since then, yet none of those packs had come too close to be a threat. Along with the others, Mekkar remained in his night guard observation duties every third or fourth evening, according to the rotation. In truth, Mekkar basically was a trainee, a minor clog, and just another set of eyes and constantly fought the urge to sleep while on watch.
Nobody truly expected a great deal from him due to his youth and surprised some adults with his diligence by not falling asleep on duty. The young boy didn’t neglect the tasks given to him. He expected a lot from himself and always did his best in everything he did or put his mind to. Mekkar held himself up as a special person and sought to apply himself to a higher standard than most. Potentially, it was the workaholic with excellence work ethic influence that was instilled into him by his parents and immediate family members. His parents demonstrated this through their own actions and example unlike a number of modern parents in today’s civilized world. Examples of parent neglect and negative child behavior issues are reflected almost everyday in every realm of supposedly advanced society.
Sirga and Henrik never assigned, selected, or predetermined the path of their offspring’s’ future career or how each would earn a living later on as adults. The fact was they didn’t have to because Mekkar and Alf were both internally self driven in their character with the oldest being sort of a perfectionist. The parents wanted their young children to dream and develop their own tastes. Henrik and Sirga felt that there would be plenty of time later on to make life choices as it’s a part of life, but not too early. The key was to keep an open mind and not intentionally slam doors that might need to be opened in the future. The parents would not accept disrespectable attitudes and let their sons behave like irresponsible, spoiled, entitlement brats. The concept of real education to them, despite both having advanced degrees, was to question everything. While at the same time, research subjects for yourself to reach your own individual conclusions and belief systems. Henrik and Sirga expected this component to stay with Mekkar the rest of his life as they prepared him. Mekkar would learn what he liked and didn’t prefer as opportunities arose. The caveat is when one is young they assume that they have all of the answers, as well as, many years to go to soak up all sorts of knowledge. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
While they were forging ahead to the east, Mekkar could have sworn that he saw fighter jets after hearing the whoosh sounds overhead. However, he didn’t recognize whose aircraft they were. Mekkar was normally spot-on identifying different jets because his uncle used to play recognition games back home with him. The youngster would be quizzed on various local and regional planes that they could see nearby and through binoculars. The game would include automobiles driven on the closest regional highway. The Arctic youngster had another of reference, his papa Henrik who was a pilot that was able to fly any aircraft the national military and airlines had.
Sitting and relaxing around the evening campfire the adolescent heard more stories about old legends and myths while the leaders were gulping down their coffee. Some of the tales and sagas seemed to Mekkar as being a very real part of history. Verbal communication was a normal practice, instead of writing it down, for stories to be passed down from one generation to the next. Long term oral traditions have been a common method of cultural transference for millennia as recorded throughout human history. There are a much smaller number of stories that have been conveyed in written form in comparison. By listening to these conversations in the tent, Mekkar gained an increased understanding of how old his people, native tribe, culture, etc. really was. His people were different from outward perceptions about them. The boy began to understand that many outsiders saw them automatically as lower class because of who they were. Natives were viewed with suspicion and they were considered a people that had lower intelligence.
Mekkar heard one of the leaders in the discussion speak about how scientists were incorrect regarding where his people originally came from and were indecisive concerning their beginnings also. Many of the current accept theories have been debunked in recent years. There are many physical features each individual has and are conducive to the tribes’ people in this region that are shared with his own, but no one is exactly alike. A couple of adults there mentioned special attributes and advantages the natives are equipped with naturally in comparison with non-native settlers in the area. Later during the conversation, the subject matter prompted Mekkar to ask many why questions. Inquiries which are similar to those that all parents are familiar with. Why is that? What for? ... Smartly, the boy continually sought wise sources to find answers. Confusingly, the more replies he received, the more inquiries popped into his immature noggin.
As Mekkar’s parents taught him to be open to learning new things, this gave him a false sense that he believed that he was smarter than he actually was. Already, at this young age, signs of cockiness in his personality were bubbling to the surface. Mekkar based his intelligence at the time on having a lot of varied experiences for such a young kid. Also, he already read quite often because it was frequently pointed out to him that reading makes a person smarter.
The native boy heard the reasons related to the differences in the clothing his trek group wore in contrast to the locals in this place. The discourse mentioned the variety in designs, schemes, and color combinations as well as patterns in the tunics and hats. Their teepees were slightly different as well. The adolescent was also unaware of the underlying symbolism and array of emblems until he asked about it. There is a belief that has been instilled into Mekkar’s being that states that the only dumb question is one that is never asked. [Albert Einstein] Functions are also alluded to if one is perceptive enough to decipher the codes. Careful detection can identify a tribe’s village or clan affiliations. For instance, the shaman’s hat could be used as a type of ancient position based directional finder. In other words, a compass based on shadows caused by the sun, the moon, and reflection of light from the snow. Similar to today’s GPS navigational tools for land use without the high latitude inference issues that plague many systems in operation now. Of course, use of the antiquated system resulted in some miscalculations as well.
Mekkar never understood why the group rarely strayed far the route even when the herd was forced to deviate from their initial course due to changing conditions. Circumstances such as too much soft ground to trek on and extra stops for food and supplies. Luckily, the trekkers were able to return back on the chosen path. Some of the trekking routes have been used for many years. Long before non-native settlers began moving into the area and claiming some the land as their own. Those deeds permanently changed age-old routes that affected the indigenous people and herds. Mekkar’s people have a few concepts that are different from modern society. In Mekkar’s culture the land is seen as being for everyone to use and is sort of on loan, in that no one can really own it. Not even the regional chieftains or rulers, the state, nor the governments who control national borders. Thus, none of those parties have any right to take it away or even give the land to someone else like a particular individual, group, company, etc.
Another key point is that in many aboriginal people, like Mekkar’s tribe, there is a mindset that all inanimate objects have their own individual life or soul. One must work in cooperation and harmony with those items to benefit. The Native from the North still expresses this habit of speaking to inanimate objects which confounds others to this day. Most people just write it off as craziness, lack of sanity, or senility on his part. A few others think he is just nuts when Mekkar audibly acts in this manner.